Outdoor activities around Chattanooga don’t shut down for the winter. Relatively mild temperatures allow visitors to stay quite active outside throughout the season. Plus, after a day outside in the winter, what's more fun than enjoying some time in front of a fireplace? Here are just a few options to help embrace those colder days in Chattanooga.
1. Ice Skating
Enjoy ice skating on an outdoor rink located in the beautiful landscaped gardens of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. This is a special feature that visits Chattanooga each winter during the holiday season (mid November-mid January). When you are done, head across the street to the Hot Chocolatier for delicious hot chocolate and yummy treats or enjoy a stroll through the quaint Southside area.
2. Take a Ridge Hike
There are many ridge hikes atop the mountains of Chattanooga to help keep hikers warm on a sunny winter day. Some of the favorites include: Lookout Mountain (Lula Lake Land Trust or a hike from Covenant College to Sunset Rock), Signal Mountain (leaving from the Signal Point parking area going towards Edward’s Point and points beyond), Raccoon Mountain, North Chickamauga, and Stringers Ridge. Lula Lake Land Trust is only open on the first and last weekend of each month, so be sure to plan ahead. If you can't make it on a weekend, Experience Chattanooga offers private tours that grant access to the land trust on days when Lula Lake is closed. Stringer’s Ridge is another great option since hikers can get a nice hike in and then hop into one of the great local shops, coffee houses, and restaurants that are located just a short distance away on the Northshore.
3. Chickamauga Battlefield
There are more than 50 miles of hiking trails and lots of wide open spaces and meadows that are perfect for a hike at the Chickamauga Battlefield. A sunny day in the dead of winter in this beautiful place will bring visions of spring. There is even a recreation field in the south end of the park, so invite your friends and family for a pickup game of football or soccer. Or learn more about the battle itself without the summer crowds.
4. Go for a Climb
Pop into High Point Climbing and Fitness in the heart of downtown Chattanooga to climb year-round. High Point is one of the nation's most unique climbing facilities and there is something for everyone from beginners to advanced climbers to kids.
5. Cardboard Hill at Renaissance Park
No snow? Sledding is done year-round on Cardboard Hill, just bring a piece of cardboard and start sliding. Of course, if Old Man Winter does bring the white stuff, you can enjoy Renaissance Park as a traditional sledding hill.